When I first heard about Taco Bell introducing fries to their menu, my first thought was, what’s the big deal? And my second thought was, thank you for finally acknowledging that cheese sauce is the best fry dip ever. Come at me.
But then I contemplated and realized that people have some really fierce loyalties when it comes to fast food fries. Some swear by the salt-drenched, crunchy McDonald’s version. Wendy’s has their skin-on version and…that’s all I can remember about them. I seem to remember Burger King changing their frying oil some years ago, making what I saw as a marked improvement in quality. Arby’s has seasoned curly fries, but I hate the rest of their menu. (Okay, to be fair, I haven’t tried anything new from Arby’s in years. But I’m just not into that shaved beef.)
Okay, so I’m not a french fry connoisseur, but I have some experience. And to most people, the french fry is the Robin to their Batman burger. So Taco Bell busting onto the scene with their Nacho Fries could be seen as a big deal. Speaking of which, they created an appropriately spectacular commercial to go with this launch.
Please watch it, because it would take me an extra thousand words to explain. The TV cut makes it look particularly bonkers, but when you watch the full-length version, it’s actually pretty impressive.
Presented as (and doing a pretty good job of imitating) a movie trailer, it features very handsome actor Josh Duhamel that you probably remember from doing…something in Transformers movies, but I remember from the failed 2015 TV series Battle Creek, because I’m avant garde like that. I’ve seen bad shows you’ve never even heard of, man.
The commercial is called “Web of Fries”, which, let’s be honest, I love. In fact, the more I watched it, the more I started to unironically like it. Some talking points:
“Big fries have been riding the ketchup train for 50 years!”
Several creepy clowns that are definitely not Ronald McDonald
“The Burger People. They! THEY!”
Rad car stunts
Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure Josh Duhamel is actually murdered at the end of this commercial. Damn, Taco Bell!
I kind of want to end the review there, but I guess I should talk about the product.
Texture is so important when it comes to the french fry, and here is where I think Taco Bell might lose some people. Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries are floppy and soft, although there is a bit of a crunch to the outside. Mmm, crunch is going too far. A little crispness is more accurate.
They’re a lot thicker than your average fry, which I think contributes to the fact that they’re more fluffy than crunchy. Also, as I’m sure you can see in the first picture, there’s not a lot of tall boys in the bunch. That’s okay though, because the somewhat…flaccid nature of these fries makes dunking longer ones awkward.
As for the seasoning, Taco Bell claims it uses “Mexican spices”, but I didn’t find anything particularly Mexican about it, which kind of goes along with Taco Bell’s brand. I tasted mostly paprika, but there was a little bit of heat from the “aged cayenne red peppers” listed in the ingredients. The seasoning was wildly inconsistent, however – some of my fries I would describe as blasted, while others were merely dusted. Each fry did get at least a little bit of love, though.
As for the nacho cheese sauce, what can I say? It’s Taco Bell’s iconic sauce that they ladle on or into practically all of their menu offerings, and I’m a fan. It’s warm, gooey, mild, and perfectly compliments both the seasoning and the texture of these Nacho Fries. The serving size is just the right amount for the number of fries served, also.
All in all, Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries have hits and misses. I enjoyed the fluffy innards and the fact that the larger surface area of the fry allowed for better dipping, but I would have preferred a crispier outside, like Arby’s curly fries. Also like Arby’s curly fries, I would liked to see a more even seasoning, and perhaps one that didn’t just yell “paprika!” at my mouth.
That said, an order of these babies is $1, which is honestly a hell of a deal and well worth giving them a shot. You can’t beat cheese sauce as a fry dip, and Taco Bell’s cheese is the perfect compliment. I checked all the big fast food burger places, and nobody can touch that price point for an order of small fries. Not to mention, you’ll be stuck with ketchup, and ketchup sucks. Come at me.
You can also get Nacho Fries as Supreme or BellGrande, but I decided to try them plain. Just imagine the fries, but slathered with nacho sauce and varying degrees of other stuff Taco Bell has laying around. Just like their nachos, but somehow soggier!
Taco Bell Nacho Fries
- Score: 3 out of 5 dead, but still handsome Josh Duhamel
- Price: $1.00
- Size: n/a
- Purchased at: Taco Bell #022951
- Nutritional Quirk: Not one, but TWO types of paprika in the ingredients. C’mon guys, I know you can up that Mexican spice game!